Getting started in acting can be hard work, but it can also be fun. Keep in mind, when you first start out, you’re not going to get the best parts, if you get any parts at all. Most people starting out in acting are going to have to take on roles as an extra or a stand-in. Most people are familiar with what an extra is, but you may not know what a stand-in is. A stand-in is someone who has a similar height and build as the actor or actress actually playing the part. The stand-in is used by the technical, and lighting crew to make sure the lighting, and focus are correct before the actual actor performs the scene. Being an extra or a stand-in may not sound like a very glamorous role, but it can have more benefits than most realize. You’ll be getting experience being on set, working with an actual film crew, and being directed. You also have to admit, being an extra or a stand-in is also better than waiting tables or flipping burgers. Don’t forget, you will also have the opportunity to network while you’re on set.
Of course, in order to find a role as a stand-in or an extra, you will also have to know where to look. Casting companies are not usually going to search for you for these types of roles. Believe it or not, the best places to look for casting calls, are the same places you would look for any other type of job. These places include online job search sites, Craigslist, and the good old fashioned newspaper. While living in Florida, California, and even when I lived in the New Orleans area of Louisiana, I constantly saw casting calls on Craigslist and in the local newspapers. Of course you are going to have more luck in the Los Angeles area, than you will in most other areas of the U.S.